Photo: Smith Marine’s Facebook
Despite oft-heard laments to the contrary, we are of the opinion that there’s more – so much more – to our little Red Dot than the usual national pastimes of shopping, taking in the latest blockbuster, and well, eating.
For those of you itching to bust out of your comfort zones and do something truly unique in Singapore, we’ve rounded up some interesting, lesser-known options for things to do that you may not even have known existed.
Go forth and explore.
Photo: Axe Factor Singapore
Channel your inner viking at Axe Factor, a newly-opened (August 2018) axe-throwing facility, the first and only one of its kind here. It may sound like a primitive sport, but we reckon gripping those heavy weapons in your hands, then flinging them at the wooden target, might be rather therapeutic.
Those worried about safety will be glad to know that the proper rules and regulations are in place, and each session is facilitated by an ‘axe-pert’ who will guide you through the techniques of axe-throwing before you get to take your first shot. Make sure to wear closed-toe shoes as well, to prevent any, ahem, mishaps. Sessions start at $28 per hour per pax for an hour of axe-throwing, but group and private room bookings are available, too.
Axe Factor is at The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, #01-32A/B & 34A/B, Singapore 287994. Visit www.axefactor.com.sg to book or for more information.
The popularity of water sports such as stand up paddling has been growing over the years, but did you know you can also kayak through some very interesting locations – not your usual East Coast or Pasir Ris Park outings, thank you very much.
With KayakAsia, options include the Pulau Ubin river trails, an immersive 6-hour, 12-km nature route where you may spot numerous species of wildlife from birds to snakes during your journey. Or paddle your way through swampy mangroves of Mandai, looking out for remnants of the long-forgotten Kampung Fatimahover a 7km stretch that takes four hours to meander.
Most of the trips are designed for all ability levels, so beginners are welcome, and trips generally cost around $85 to $95 per person, inclusive of brunch. Bring your rowing arms!
Visit http://kayakasia.org for more information on the various trips.
Photo: Ask A French – Flowers
When it comes to picking up a new hobby, the options are endless here in Singapore.
If you’re the creative sort, a craft workshop might be right up your alley and might just inspire a new passion.
Lovers of flowers might enjoy the floral and lifestyle workshops, for example, by florist Aude Giraud of Ask A French – Flowers.
Alternatively, The Art Faculty By Pathlight, which celebrates the abilities of people with autism and related challenges, offers up a slew of unique and affordable workshops throughout the year. Their annual ‘Craft Buffet’ includes everything from brush lettering to resin art and leather craft. Something for everyone.
VR Escape Room
Photo: Sandbox VR
Take the escape room experience to the next level at Sandbox VR.
This “hyper-reality” offering, which opened here earlier this year and which promises “movie-quality, realtime motion capture rigs” – meaning that every move you make in the green room is captured in-game. And for some games you’ll be wearing a haptic vest which allows you to actually feel the hits happening in-game as vibrations.
Designed for groups of two to six ($32/player before 6pm on weekdays; $42/player after 6pm on weekdays and on weekends and PH), each session – choose from haunted house-based game Deadwood Mansion or Curse Of Davy Jones which is set on a pirate ship – gets you around 30 minutes in actual VR.
It’s immersive, super realistic and just boatloads of unique fun. Ready, player one?
Sandbox VR is at Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road, #05-31, Singapore 238896. Visit https://sandboxvr.com/sg to book.
Visit a farm
Photo: The Animal Resort’s Facebook
We may live in a concrete jungle but you’ll be surprised to know that there are a sizeable number of farms on our little island.
Options include Jurong Frog Farm’s hour-long tour ($12 per pax) – where you can hang out with thousands of Kermit’s relatives and learn all about American bullfrogs — and Bollywood Veggies, where those with green thumbs will lap up the diverse crops and plants dotting the grounds.
We recommend charming mini-zoo The Animal Resort in Seletar to get up close and personal with its inhabitants, which include horses, geese, rabbits and a cassowary, to name a few. Why not indulge in a spot of stream fishing while you’re there, too? Plus, those looking for a rustic venue for their kiddo’s birthday can consider throwing a party there. Talk about getting back to nature.
The Animal Resort is at 81 Seletar West Farmway 5, Singapore 798061. Call 6482-1160 or visit https://www.facebook.com/TheAnimalResort/. Entry is free.
Catch and cook your dinner at sea
Photo: Smith Marine’s Facebook
You’ll have to hop on a bumboat to get to this one-of-a-kind floating restaurant – Smith Marine – a kelong off Pulau Ubin where you can catch a fish and then have it cooked to order for guaranteed freshness.
The unconventional 10-minute journey (the restaurant can help charter the boat, at additional cost) is a worthwhile one as you’ll soon find yourself shooting the breeze at a delightfully old-school and atmospheric joint serving up zi char deliciousness with no pretence or frills.
Your everyday coffee-shop dinner it ain’t, which is exactly the nostalgic, rare charm of this little gem.
Smith Marine is located off Changi and Pulau Ubin, GPS coordinates: 01’23’52”N – 103’57’42”E; Call 9792-7609 for enquiries or to book.